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Emmanuel et Brigitte Macron visitent les salles du Louvre d'Abu Dhabi, mercredi, en compagnie du prince héritier Mohammed Ben Zayed Al-Nahyan (à gauche) et du président de l'Autorité du tourisme et de la culture, Mohamad Khalifa al-Mubarak (à droite).

 VIDEO – While traveling in the United Arab Emirates, the head of state led a charge against religious obscurantism.

Special Envoy to Abu Dhabi

Some visitors are disappointed. From a distance, up close, from the side or from below, it is difficult to grasp with a smartphone the immensity of the metal dome that covers the Louvre Museum. Not that of Paris, that of Abu Dhabi, nearly 7000 kilometers away. The one that Emmanuel Macron inaugurated on Wednesday during his official visit to the United Arab Emirates, his first in a Gulf country. Quite a symbol for this president who adores them and who, once again, played with them to the point of wear.

Initiated by Jacques Chirac in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, launched by Nicolas Sarkozy, this “Louvre of the desert” project was to see the light of day in 2012, under François Hollande. A monumental metal dome therefore, in the shape of a moucharabieh to allow only a few rays of light to pass depending on the time of day. Below, the architect Jean Nouvel built a medina, 26 white buildings that house works of art.

“A bridge between West and East”

The Louvre and twelve other French museums have rented nearly 600 of them from their cousin in Abu Dhabi. “For a country like France, to separate, even in the form of a loan, from some of its finest works, is not easy. It's even torture," joked Emmanuel Macron. Without a doubt. But the works are therefore exhibited in Abu Dhabi where they adjoin collections of Islamic, Byzantine, pre-Columbian and Asian art. “The idea is to create this bridge between the West and the East, to bring cultures and civilizations into dialogue through this museum”, we explain at the Élysée.

The project had been delayed. And so it was ultimately to Emmanuel Macron that the task of delivering the inaugural speech fell.

Accompanied by his wife, Brigitte, the Head of State visited several rooms of the museum before speaking to an audience of local dignitaries, including Sheikh Mohammed Ben Zayed al-Nahyan, the crown prince of the Emirate. But if Emmanuel Macron praised the architecture of the place, he especially took advantage of his speech to indulge in a virulent charge against religious obscurantism. “You are the focal point where the Western and Eastern worlds meet. You hold this point of balance between the European, African and Asian continents, he launched, explaining that, by virtue of their geographical position, the United Arab Emirates were above all “at the heart of the geopolitical tensions which shake the world” . An allusion to the rising tensions between neighboring Saudi Arabia and Iran but not only.

“In an inextricable, irreducible way, our religions are linked. Those who make believe that Islam is built by destroying other monotheisms are liars and betray you”

Emmanuel Macron

Because over the course of his speech, the words of Emmanuel Macron then turned to religion. Or rather the religions, the three monotheisms which he recalled were born in this region. “In an inextricable, irreducible way, our religions are linked. Those who make believe that Islam is built by destroying other monotheisms are liars and betray you, ”assured Emmanuel Macron, provoking applause in the audience.

The United Arab Emirates are also one of France's leading allies in the region in the fight against terrorism. Beyond police cooperation, it therefore also passes for the Head of State through culture and education.

Thursday, before going to Dubai for the second leg of his trip, Emmanuel Macron will also go to the University of Paris-Sorbonne Abu Dhabi. To hammer home his message again, that of the responsibility of the generation of leaders to which it belongs to engage in the fight “against obscurantism and for intelligence”. At the Louvre, to complete his speech, Emmanuel Macron assured him: "Here begins the fight of a generation for our youth, against all withdrawals and hate speech."

Source: ©  Le Figaro Premium – Macron inaugurates the Louvre in Abu Dhabi



  • Jean-Pierre Colin
    Posted November 9, 2017 8h57 0Likes


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